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Tamerlane's Page

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To view any photo at full size, click on the photo with the right mouse button. All photos are copyright Wayne and Patricia Primeau. All Rights Reserved.
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cat photoWhen Tamerlane decided to adopt us, he was in sad shape. From the look of him, he had been living rough for some time. Winter in Ottawa is not kind to homeless animals. Not only is there little food available, but the few that do not die of starvation often freeze to death. The night he arrived on our doorstep Tam was thin, scruffy, battered and very dirty, but he knew that he wanted a home and a family, and he had chosen ours.

cat photoDue to a combination of no innoculations, stress and malnutrition, he caught a respiratory infection in quarantine at the Humane Society. He came down with it a few days after we brought him home. He stopped eating, stopped drinking, stopped reacting at all when we came into the guest bedroom where we were keeping him. Even with medication from our vet, we thought we were going to lose him. We mixed strained chicken baby food with warm water to make it thin enough, then force fed him with a syringe every hour for days. We had almost given up hope for his recovery, when he finally started biting at the syringe, then eating on his own again.

cat photoOnce he started eating, he was back to health very quickly. Then it was time to introduce him to the rest of the family. He was young and playful. He used to hide around corners and attack whomever came by first. Erika and Hannah, both quiet and timid creatures, were afraid of him for months. They used to stop and peak around corners before entering a room.


pet kissesTamerlane decided he wanted to be friends with Hannah. I was outside washing the windows. I saw him walk up to her as she lay in a patch of sun by the front window. To my amazement, he started licking her head, face and ears, grooming her. Hannah was terrified. Her eyes were so wide the whites were visible all around, and she was shaking. He just kept grooming her. Eventually this became a routine behaviour, and Hannah came to enjoy his attentions.

cat photoTam arrived in February. By the time the following Christmas rolled around, he was a secure member of the family. We don't know if he had ever seen a Christmas tree before, but to him it was a most wondrous sight. He seemed to think it was a large and elaborate cat toy, put up just for his enjoyment. And enjoy it he did.

cat photo Every year for the first five years he lived with us, he knocked the tree over at least twice. He slept under it. He climbed it. He took the ornaments off the lower branches and batted them around the house. He unwrapped presents, his, ours, dogs, any presents. He had a delightful time. He seemed quite put out when the tree came down and was packed away for the next year.

cat photoTam has never been completely content to be an indoor cat. He spends hours each day staring out the window. In Moscow we lived on the 11th floor of a highrise. Crows and pigeons often landed on the window ledges. Tam used to crouch and stare at them, tail lashing, growling and meowing, very excited. Alas, there was no safe place to let him out.

cat photo In Ottawa and in Jerusalem we were able to put him on a long lead attached to a stake in the lawn. He could roll in the grass, chase bugs in the flower beds or just snooze in the sunshine.

cat photoIn our Moscow apartment, one of Tam's favourite places to nap was on a cloth doll I bought from a lady on the Old Arbat, the shopping street near the Embassy. Cats are good at staking out the most comfortable places in a home, but this was one of the most amusing. It always made us smile to see him sound asleep in the doll's lap.

cat photo Back in Canada, Tam goes out in the back garden with his two dogs. He seems to understand that we will let him out almost every time they go out if he comes back inside when they do, without being chased. Of course we don't let him out unsupervised as he could walk through the fence and dissappear, but so far he has gone visiting in the neighbourhood only once, was caught in a rain storm, and has not tried it since.

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To see photos of our other furry friends, click on the links below.

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This page was updated on 26 November 2007.

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